Saturday 1 October 2016

Dylan Hartley on missing World Cup: "This is my situation and s*** happens"

Published 02/06/2015 | 07:44

Dylan Hartley headbutts Jamie George
Dylan Hartley headbutts Jamie George

Dropped England hooker Dylan Hartley says moving on from his current suspension is his only option.

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Coach Stuart Lancaster removed Hartley from his World Cup squad last week after the 29-year-old Northampton forward was served with a four-week ban for headbutting Saracens' Jamie George.

Watch the incident below:

It meant Hartley has now received suspensions tallying up to a year during his career and Lancaster has decided to sit him out of the World Cup, with his latest issues meaning he would miss the first game of the tournament.

But Hartley - despite admitting to being "gutted" about missing out - says he needs to move on.

"Am I gutted about missing the World Cup? Stupid question - of course I am," he told The Sun.

"But let me say straight away that I don't want, or expect, any sympathy for my ban over the incident with Jamie George.

"I've got to accept it and move on. Set new goals and targets and get to work. This is my situation and s*** happens. You deal with it and move on."

Previous brushes with the sport's law-makers have hurt Hartley dear too, missing the 2013 Lions tour after abusing a referee.

The player, though, feels he has been unfortunate.

"I've been unlucky with getting it wrong on the big stage a few times now," he added. "Maybe it's down to emotions?

"I know that I care so much when I play and, the bigger the game, the harder I probably try."

But despite his latest setback, Hartley has no intentions of turning his back on England and wants to remain ready in case called upon in an emergency.

"There is absolutely no truth in the speculation I may quit international rugby," he said. "I feel I can still contribute and as long as Stuart Lancaster thinks that too, that's all that matters.

"I need to channel my hurt into training because, when the World Cup starts, I need to be in a good place fitness-wise in case of injuries."

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